Backstrom out again for Capitals in Game 3 against Lightning

Backstrom out again for Capitals in Game 3 against Lightning

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom was not in the lineup for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, missing his fourth straight game with a right hand injury.

The Capitals were dominated in a 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are now back in this series trailing 2-1.

Brett Connolly and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored for Washington. The Capitals had only six shots in the third period until the waning minutes, and Vasilevskiy stopped all except one of 13 by period's end. Less than two minutes later, Victor Hedman made it 3-0 Lightning.

But the offensive depth that helped them get through the first two rounds in five games apiece returned with Hedman and Brayden Point scoring just Tampa Bay's second and third even-strength goals in the series.

Washington goalie Braden Holtby stopped 19 shots. This time, the Lightning prevented the momentum swings.

Washington registered 14 first-period shots without scoring. He took a feed from Hedman, converting for his 10th career postseason power-play goal - a franchise record.

Coach Barry Trotz said on Tuesday that Backstrom remains "day-to-day".

Lars Eller has filled in for Backstrom centering the second line between Jakub Vrana and T.J. Oshie, and on Washington's first power-play unit. Alex Ovechkin and Kuznetsov combined for 21 shots on goal.

The expansion Vegas Golden Knights evened the Western Conference final at 1-1 Monday with a 3-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.

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